Gul reiterates Turkey's support for restoring stability to tyrmoil-stricken Kyrgyzstan
As part of his talks in Kazakhstan, President Abdullah Gul yesterday met with neighboring Kyrgyzstan's newly elected President Roza Otunbayeva, whose country underwent political upheaval in April when violent protests ousted former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. A bloody spate of ethnic clashes between Kyrgyzs and Uzbeks broke out during this period, triggering a huge wave of refugees at the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border. The ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, the worst in two decades, claimed the lives of hundreds of people, injuring more than two thousand. After being elected the new president with a public referendum, former Foreign Minister Otunbayeva was sworn in as president on Saturday, with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu being the sole foreign statesman present at the ceremony. Davutoglu and Almazbek Atambayev, Kyrgyzstan's first deputy prime minister, signed an agreement which outlined Turkey's donation of $21 million to the turbulent Central Asian nation's government. During their meeting, Gul and Otunbaveya discussed the latest developments in Kyrgyzstan in the aftermath of the political and ethnic violence. Reiterating Turkey's strong support for the Kyrgyz government to overcome these difficult times, Gul also wished success to Otunbayeva in her new office. In Astana, Gul also met with Kazakh and Turkish businesspeople who told him about bilateral economic ties and their problems. Turkish-Kazakh ties have enjoyed remarkable progress in recent years, making the two countries strategic partners. Gul also inaugurated Han Cadiri, a massive new shopping and entertainment center in Astana built by a Turkish construction firm. Gul is expected to return to Turkey today after attending the 70th birthday of his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev.